Turn up the heat, somebody. The globe is freezing. Even Al Gore is looking for an extra blanket. Winter has barely come to the northern latitudes and already we’ve got bigger goosebumps than usual. So far the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reports 63 record snowfalls in the United States, 115 lowest-ever temperatures for the month. Only 44 Octobers over the past 114 years have been cooler than this last one.
The polar ice is accumulating faster than usual, and some of the experts now concede that the globe hasn’t warmed since 1995. You may have noticed, in fact, that Al and his pals, having given up on the sun, no longer even warn of global warming. Now it’s “climate change.” The marketing men enlisted by Al and the doom criers to come up with a flexible “brand” took a cue from the country philosopher who observed, correctly, that “if you’ve got one foot in the fire and the other in a bucket of ice, on average you’re warm.” On average, “climate change” covers every possibility.
This is similar to the science practiced by Dr. James Hansen at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, the source of much of the voodoo that Al Gore has been peddling since the doctor showed up at a Senate hearing in 1988 and told ghost stories that Al swallowed whole. Only last month Dr. Hansen’s institute announced that October was the hottest on record, and then said “uh, never mind.” The London Daily Telegraph calls this “a surreal blunder [that] raised a huge question mark about the temperature records that underpin the worldwide alarm over global warming.”
In this account, the institute had to make the humiliating climb-down after two leading skeptics of the global-warming scam, Anthony Watts, an American meteorologist, and Steve McIntyre, a Canadian computer analyst, discovered that temperature readings from September had been carried over and repeated for October.
We should sigh, shrug and give the scientists at NASA the benefit of the doubt that this was a mistake and not a deliberate howl at the moon. A spokesman for the institute explains that readings borrowed from Russia, which had been described as 10 degrees higher than normal for October, distorted the figures but, after all, the data had been obtained from others. So we should blame someone else.
This is the science we’re expected to take on faith. The false figures - we must be generous and not say “faked” - were supplied by the United Nations International Panel on Climate Change. These are the most widely quoted readings, and consistently show higher temperatures than other “data sets.” Would the United Nations lie? (No giggling, please.)
This sets a new standard for hubris, arrogance and haughty self-importance. Skeptics of the global-warming scam, even those with unquestioned academic and real-world credentials, are treated as ignorant pariahs by pundits, presidential candidates and other politicians who know better, or ought to.
This is not the first time, writes Christopher Booker in the Daily Telegraph, that Dr. Hansen’s methodology has been sharply questioned. Two years ago, Messrs. Watts and McIntyre, the bloggers who caught the October fiasco, forced him to withdraw his published findings on surface temperatures in the United States, to correct his claim that the hottest decade of the 20th century was the 1990s. It was the 1930s, when the much-maligned sport utility vehicle was still a truck and Detroit made economical cars everybody wanted.
Man’s notion that his science can realign the stars, adjust the orbit of planets and reorganize the universe leads him to say silly things and assert goofy claims. Saying silly things and asserting goofy claims is usually harmless as entertainment, so long as the claims are subjected to rigorous analysis and debate. But contrarian arguments about global warming, climate change and freezing heat are not tolerated by the scientists with an uneasy grip on the research money.
It’s clear now that the earth has been cooling for the past decade, to the sorrow of the special pleaders and despite everything Al can do about it. The solar cycle peaked, the sun is quieter, the sunspots have faded and everybody but Al is cooling off.
Even the United Nations says so. The director of the U.N.’s panel on climate change concedes that nature has overwhelmed everything man can do and it might even be another decade before man can rally and the warming resumes. Until then, like it or not, nature rules the cosmos.
• Wesley Pruden is editor emeritus of The Washington Times.